Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Chilcot Inquiry Section 9.1 March to 22 May 2003


The British were caught off guard by the post-war situation in Iraq. That’s because the Blair government had made so few plans for what it was to do the day after the invasion ended. There were mixed ideas about who would run Iraq, the security situation and deBaathification.

 

The Blair government had pushed the United Nations to be involved during the run up to the war and continued to do so afterward. On March 22 PM Tony Blair said the U.N. should have a role in postwar Iraq in a conversation with President Bush. The next day General Tim Cross the senior member of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) which was the first civilian body to run Iraq, said that the Americans were against using the United Nations. The Bush administration had been opposed to the U.N. from the start wanting to deal with Iraq on its own. Blair’s one and only victory in the entire Iraq war was getting the U.S. to push for a new Security Council resolution on Iraq. Immediately afterward the White House went back to its stance against the international body. It took months for the U.S. to ask for the U.N.’s aid when it found itself deadlocked in Iraq.

 

Just like the Americans the British military was focused upon withdrawing from Iraq as soon as possible. On April 11 Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon told parliament that the UK would be pulling some of its forces out of Iraq. That was supported by an intelligence report that said the postwar chaos and looting was coming to an end. It said that the police would be coming back on duty and law and order would be established soon. At the end of April the Joint Intelligence Committee reported that Al Qaeda and its allies had been stopped in Kurdistan during the invasion. It did add that there were still terrorists in Baghdad that would target the Coalition. Only the last report would prove true. Otherwise the British would keep its military in Iraq until 2011 as security quickly deteriorated and there was no law and order.

 

The Blair government entered the Iraq war as partners with the U.S. but it was always a junior partner. For instance, when the Bush administration decided to switch from the ORHA to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) it didn’t consult with London. Officials told the Chilcot Inquiry they were caught off guard by the change and had no idea what the CPA was responsible for. This was not the last time the Americans would spring a surprise on the British during their time in Iraq.

 

Paul Bremer the head of the CPA immediately made a major decision to ban the Baath Party when he arrived in Iraq. Unlike many American officials the British supported the order. Sir Jeremy Greenstock the British ambassador to the U.S. and Edward Chaplin the U.K. ambassador to Iraq both claimed there was a lot of support amongst Iraqis for the order. On the other hand, General Tim Cross the senior British official at the CPA said that the decision went against the initial U.S. and U.K. plans to only get rid of the top Iraqi leadership. The order would go down as one of the worst choices the Americans made during the occupation. It’s surprising that so many Brits were in favor of the decision when so many Americans such as Jay Garner the head of the ORHA were against it. That might be because they were only consulting with the Iraqi opposition such as the Iraqi National Congress and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq who were actively pushing to get rid of Baathists and not average Iraqis.

 

SOURCES

 

The Iraq Inquiry, “The Report of the Iraq Inquiry,” 7/6/16

 

PREVIOUS CHILCOT REPORTS

 

Review The Report of the Iraq Inquiry, Executive Summary

 

Chilcot Inquiry Sec 1.1 UK Iraq Strategy 1990 To 2000

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 1.2 UK Iraq strategy September 2000 To September 2001

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.1 Development of UK Strategy and Options On Iraq, 9/11 to Early January 2002

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.2 Development of UK Iraq Strategy and Options, January to April 2002 – “Axis of Evil” to Crawford

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.3 Development of UK Iraq Strategy and Options, April to July 2002

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.4 Development of UK Iraq Strategy and Options, Late July to 14 September 2002

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.5 Development of UK Strategy and Options September to November 2002 – Negotiation of Resolution 1441

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.6 Development of UK Strategy and Options, November 2002 to January 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.7 Development of UK Strategy and Options, 1 February to 7 March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.8 Development of UK Strategy and Options, 8 to 20 March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 4.1 Iraq WMD Assessments, Pre-July 2002

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 4.2 Iraq WMD Assessments, July to September 2002

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 4.3 Iraq WMD Assessments, October 2002 to March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 4.4 The Search For WMD

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 5 Advice On The Legal Basis For Military Action, November 2002 To March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 6.1 Development of the Military Options for an Invasion of Iraq

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 6.2 Military Planning For The Invasion, January to March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 6.4 Planning and Preparation For A Post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, Mid-2001 To January 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 6.5 Planning And Preparation For A Post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, January to March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 8: The Invasion

 

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